WINDSOR, ONT. -- Essex County OPP say a resident was bilked out of $48,000 after an online fraud, but investigators were able to get the money back.

In September, police learned of an incident where an Essex resident was contacted through social media and directed to purchase "Google Play" cards. Police say this took place over a period of several months until the victim was directed to send $48,000.

The victims' family became aware and police started an investigation.

The Essex County Major Crime Unit continues to investigate in attempt to identify the suspect(s) responsible, but investigators have been able to secure the $48,000 and return it to the victim in this case.

“This is a great success but there is still a significant amount of money outstanding,” said a news release from OPP.

Police say that wasn’t the only recent case of fraud and are warning residents to be vigilant.

In a separate incident on Nov. 24, officer were made aware of another victim from Lakeshore who was contacted on the phone by an unknown suspect claiming to be from Revenue Canada alleging a compromised Social Insurance Number.

The victim was directed to take out money out of her account and covert it to Bitcoin to send to the caller. Police say she attended three different banks and withdrew $12,000 in total.

The suspect allegedly pretended to be a member of a police service and alleged involvement of an additional litigation officer.

The OPP are encouraging businesses, retirement home and long term care facilities, financial institutions, social services and family members to have an open conversation about fraud and the fact that seniors are often targeted.

Essex County OPP are offering the following tips to prevent fraud:

  • Keep your personal information confidential and safe, and do not give any information out over the phone, internet or through e-mail.
  • Don't be pressured or bullied by someone on the phone into providing personal information.
  • Protect your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and passwords.
  • Beware of unusual transactions and "too good to be true" offers.

More information and tips on how to prevent fraud is available on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

Anyone with information regarding this or any other incident is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.